There are many reasons to learn to cook more often at home. It saves money and allows you to know exactly what’s in your food. Plus, when you cook from home, you’re able to feed your family foods that they enjoy and that are usually healthier than takeout or delivery. Cooking can be time-consuming though, especially if you don’t prep ahead. But by taking some time at the beginning of the week or on the weekend before, you can do some basic prep that will make it easier to prepare meals throughout the week.
Have produce ready
Chopping vegetables for meals can take a lot of time. Most produce can be washed beforehand so it’s ready to eat or toss into your meals throughout the week. You can chop onions, peppers, and other hardy vegetables so they’re ready for meals. You can also wash, peel and chop many types of fruits, which makes it easy to grab them for snacks or a healthy dessert. Some fruits like berries don’t do well when washed ahead, but there are containers that are designed to keep these types of produce fresher for longer. These might be a good investment for those who are looking to save even more time.
Shop your kitchen and pantry
Go through your refrigerator, freezer and pantry to see what items you want or need to use up. Thaw meats for the week and plan on how to use them. Some meals, like baked pasta or casseroles, can be assembled a day or two ahead of time. You can also marinate meats the night before or in the morning so they’re flavorful and ready to cook for dinner.
Mornings can be hectic, and it’s not always convenient to prepare breakfast every day. You can make some things ahead of schedule. Baked oatmeal, muffins and pancakes can all be made ahead of time, and they reheat well. You can also make egg/protein baked cups using eggs, bacon, sausage, cheese and your favorite vegetables. These bake up quickly in muffin tins, and they can be reheated in minutes in the microwave. Many of these foods also freeze well when stored properly.
A lot of people want to cook at home more for various reasons. However, with busy schedules, it can be hard to cook every day if you don’t have a plan. Spend a few hours on the weekend or beginning of the week prepping produce, planning breakfasts and thawing meats for the week. This not only makes it easier to cook dinners in the evening but can also help you eat healthier overall.